In a remarkable demonstration of what it means to give to others, the Upper School students at Westminster recently participated in the Pennies for Patients fundraiser to earn money for children with leukemia. Founded by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Pennies for Patients is a school-based fundraiser. The incredible part: all of the money is raised through coins. Schools encourage students from different grades bring in all of their spare change and pool it together to score points in a school-wide competition. The strategy has been very successful, raising over $10,000,000 since its beginning in 1992.
For Westminster students each house was its own team. Members of each house would walk into the atrium at any point during the school day to donate change and score points for their respective houses. Each penny counted as one point for that student’s house. All silver coins counted as their respective values in negative points (-25 for quarters, -10 for dimes, etc.). Fueled by a competitive spirit, the contest lasted for two weeks. Both Augustine’s and Tolkien’s boxes had to be emptied due to the overwhelming number of coins that students poured into them. They were promptly refilled with more coins.
Augustine, who was previously leading the race for the House Cup, saw an incredible number of silver coins fill their box each day, and they ended up raising $244.81, but losing a lot of points in the process. Tolkien, previously second in the race, faced a similar inconvenience throughout the two week span on their way to raising $191.77. Dante, previously fourth in the standings, finished the two weeks raising a solid $122.19. Calvin, previously third, raised $85.11. Fortunately for Calvin, the lack of coins in their box proved to be a good sign as they ended up with the most points and won the competition. Dante, Tolkien, and Augustine finished after Calvin respectively. In a touching memorial, all proceeds raised through the Pennies for Patients fundraiser were donated in memory of former student Rachel Green.
By Jack Stein, Class of 2015